Following the economic impact of lockdown in Maharashtra, the state government has decided that there will be no shutdown although some restrictions will be put in place to curb COVID-19 spread.
As per the latest restrictions imposed by the state government, public places like restaurants, gardens, parks, malls and beaches will remain closed between 08:00pm to 07:00 am and those found not complying with rules will have to pay a fine of Rs 1,000. Large gatherings will not be allowed till April 30. Auditoriums and theatres have strictly been told to not allow large congregations. Besides, Section 144 of the Criminal Penal Code (CrPC) has also been imposed in the state during night hours.
NCP leader and Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope hasn't, however, ruled out the possibility of a lockdown. Tope said, "We're increasing testing, tracking and tracing in the state. We are also going to increase the number of vaccination centres. Today, there is no shortage of beds, medicines, doctors. If the number of cases keeps rising, then, we will have to take a decision."
Another NCP leader and Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik has said that lockdown can be avoided if people follow COVID-appropriate behaviour. Malik said, "We can't afford lockdowns. We've asked CM to consider other options. Due to rising cases, he has directed administration to prepare for lockdown but that doesn't mean that lockdown is inevitable. If people follow rules, it can be avoided."
Maharashtra BJP president Chandrakant Patil and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan have urged the state government to compensate for the loss of wages. Patil said the BJP supports the night curfew and the state government should ensure financial provisions for the unorganized sectors (hawkers, labourers, etc.). Chavan, on the other hand, said that MLALAD and MPLAD funds can be diverted for the purpose.
Maharashtra continues to remain the worst-hit state due to the pandemic and is among the eight states to report 84.73 per cent of India's COVID-19 cases. Maharashtra has reported 27,918 cases in the last 24 hours.
With agency inputs